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Renewable Energy Standard

Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) was enacted in 2015 through Act 56. The RES established requirements for utilities to procure specific amounts of renewable energy and encourages utilities to support energy transformation projects for their customers.

RES Background

The Renewable Energy Standard took effect in 2017 and is comprised of 3 components, commonly referred to as “tiers.” Tier 1 of the RES requires utilities to purchase renewable energy equivalent to a certain percentage of their retail sales each year. The Tier 1 requirement was set at 55% in 2017 and increases steadily until reaching 75% in 2032.

Tier 2 of the RES stipulates that utilities purchase increasing amounts of energy from renewable distributed generators. The Tier 2 requirement was set at 1% of each utility’s retail sales in 2017 and increases to 10% in 2032. Tier 2 purchases also count towards the Tier 1 requirement.

Tiers 1 and 2 of the RES are similar to renewable portfolio standards in many states across the country. However, Vermont’s RES contains a unique third tier that requires utilities to procure additional amounts of energy from distributed renewable resources or to complete projects that result in a reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from their customers. Tier 3 programs can consist of thermal efficiency measures, electrification of the transportation sector, and converting customers that rely on diesel generation to electric service, among other things.

The Vermont member utilities have the option of satisfying the RES requirements in aggregate. VPPSA manages our Members’ RES compliance through power supply purchases and the implementation of Tier 3 energy transformation programs.

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